We’ve arrived, finally, at the Pacific War — this week, we’ll be charting the course Japan took to war, briefly summarizing the course of said war, and then discussing how the war ended. This topic can be rather dark — after all, we’re talking about a war that killed millions — but it’s an important one for understanding the course Japan is on today, and the background in this episode will be important in future shows on the fall of the Japanese Empire.
Listen to the episode here.
Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: It’s Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.
Frank, Richard. Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire.
Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi. Racing the Enemy.
Jansen, Marius. The Making of Modern Japan.
Pyle, Kenneth. Japan Rising.
Pyle, Kenneth. The Making of Modern Japan. (Historians are not the most original lot).
The complete text of the Potsdam Declaration is available here.
The complete list of messages related to surrender (from the original Japanese note indicating willingness to surrender to President Truman’s announcement of said surrender) is available here.
Media (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)
An Occupation video from 1946 showing the burn damage to a Japanese woman from Hiroshima. This video is graphic and disturbing, but worth watching if you think you can handle it. Also available from the same period is a video of life in the ruins of Hiroshima in March 1946.
There are several other images of survivors and the devastation of the bomb available on the Wikipedia page for the atomic bombings.